NANAY

My very first attempt on portrait photography was of my Nanay (Filipino for mother) in the picnic area at Joe Pool Lake in Dallas, Texas. This was in 2012 while she was in the country for vacation and was staying with my sister and her family before flying to Florida with me. As my mother was gamely posing in front of my camera, a butterfly landed on her shoulder, which surprisingly stayed there for a while as if wanting to be part of the portrait. I went wild taking as many photos as I can until the winged beauty decided it had posed enough and flew away. This is my favorite photo of her as the butterfly is a fitting symbol of my mother. In many cultures, butterflies are known to symbolize endurance, hope, journeys and life. My mother raised me and my siblings all by herself working hard to afford us quality education all the way to our university degrees. She taught us to value our education reminding us that it was the only gift she could afford. Her hardwork paid off as my siblings and I achieved successful careers eventually immigrating to different parts of the world and living lives we never would have imagined. Unfortunately though, our dreams also took us far away from her although thanks to technology, she was just a video call away. Last October 15, 2019, my mother celebrated her 70th birthday and she hosted her dream party celebrating it with family and friends..it was also her last birthday. Last month my mother passed away from complications of cancer. Her last wish was to not to die alone…my siblings and I were around her and holding her till her last breath. Her last words to us were….”I love you all!” As I was composing this post, I realized my mother was actually the butterfly to me and my siblings…she gave love, beauty and purpose to our lives…and when her work was done, she flew away leaving behind memories…wonderful ones that we can cherish…forever.

TEXAS BLUEBONNETS

The bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas. I took these photos during a picnic with my sister and her family at Joe Pool Lake in Dallas, Texas.

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